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A group of elementary students participate in a watershed demonstration

What is Youth Exploring Environmental Science?

  • Youth Exploring Environmental Science is a component of UESEP (Urban Environmental Science Education Program). 
  • Youth Exploring Environmental Science is a youth in‐school or after‐school enrichment program that incorporates hands‐on learning experiences with educational curriculum.
  • The component uses Rice University’s STEMscopes™, a K‐12 comprehensive online science curriculum program that provides hands‐on inquiry activities, assessments, problem‐ based learning, intervention tools, acceleration materials, as well as teacher support resources from a variety of widely acceptable curriculums such as Project Wet, Wild and Wild Aquatic, Project Learning Tree, EPA Kids, and Auntie Litter, Inc.
  • This curriculum is consistent with the Alabama Course of Study.

Component Highlights

Water Quality and Quantity

We depend on water for a variety of uses and without it, we cannot survive. Students will trace the path of water, identify the source of drinking water for their communities, and address other water quality issues, such as seeking solutions to the adverse effects of nonpoint source pollution and storm‐water runoff.

Natural Resources and the Environment

Natural resources play an integral part of our daily lives. While some natural resources are renewable, many are not. The term natural resources refers to both animate and inanimate objects, including air, water, plants, animals, rocks, and soils. Alabama is fortunate to have many natural resources. However, as urbanization takes place there is a greater need for conservation and resource management. Students will engage in activities that promote natural resource conservation, environmental preservation, and community awareness.

Forestry, Wildlife, and Ecology

Ecology is the study of the interrelationships between plants and animals in a particular environment. Every living thing, including man, must depend on its environment to survive. Changes in the environment can seriously affect ecosystems. Students will identify plant and animal characteristics, and study organ‐ isms and their environments. Through observation and classroom demonstrations, students will gain a greater appreciation for the intricate balance needed to sustain ecosystems now and in the future.

Energy and Waste Management

Energy is defined as: “the ability to do work.” We depend on energy every day and obtain it from a variety of sources. Students will review the many forms and sources of energy and learn ways to conserve our limited natural resources. This topic area will also provide students with practical applications on ways to reduce pollution and the excess amount of landfill materials through recycling and other waste management methods. Students will experience first‐hand the importance of “going green” in order to ensure a clean environment for generations to come.

Program Delivery

Youth Exploring Environmental Science offers three options for program delivery.

  • COMPLETE provides a series of four 1 to 2‐hour workshops covering each content area, an Environmental Explorers Challenge, and a Youth Environmental Explorers Award.
  • SELECT offers specific topics within Youth Exploring Environmental Science.
  • SPOTLIGHT provides a unique program that is curtailed to fit the needs of a specific metropolitan area.

Neither SELECT or SPOTLIGHT provide an Explorers Challenge or Award.

Click to go back to UESEP home page.


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